Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas Slippers - The Christmas Eve Gift

Jeremy's Surprise gift from the Kaperaks - Kolaches !
Christmas Morning
JohnDavid, Caitlyn with Luke, Kylie, Haley, Lanning
Lanning discovered he DOES love Deigo!
Poppy loves his cat! Now everyone will know.

New Pots and Pans! The guys were more excited than the girls.

Haley and her Polly Pockets!

JohnDavid as Obi wan Kanobi. Mom and Dad got the costume, Poppy got the sword.

That's how you make a little boy's day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kathryn Claire Stonebraker Thomas

It is amazing to me how God puts people in our lives who come in a little on the irritating side and end up in the depths of our hearts. Kathryn Claire Thomas was one of those people to me. When I started dating her son, Stan, in 1977 she was not exactly thrilled. I viewed her as opinionated and bossy. I must say my opinion of her has changed greatly!

Many times Kathryn's head would bang into mine. We did not always see eye to eye but when I needed her she was always there. And not just physically. If she knew that you had a concern or a need you could count on her to be on her knees before the Lord's throne in petition for you. If she said she would pray, then by golly that is what she did. You may get her opinion with the prayer, but there was lots of prayer non the less. I have had a couple of days of panic since her death, wondering who will be praying for me and my family as diligently and fervently as she did.

Through the years we have weathered storms together. Specifically the death of her son. In 1981 Stan became sick very suddenly and died in a matter of days. Kathryn never once said a harsh word to me about his death. There was never an accusation of poor care or comments like "if you had been a better wife" or "how could you let this happen". In the midst of her pain she worried about me and the children. Andrew was just 6 days old and Angie was just 2 1/2 years old.

The day she buried her son of just 22, she lost her beloved husband, Tommy. Then 14 years later her daughter Beth, died of brain cancer. Kathryn also experience the lose of her mother, her father, her sister, and her brother-in-law, and several other loved ones. She endured much pain in her 87 years. If you looked only at the pain you would wonder why she had not turned her back on God. I don't think the thought ever crossed her mind. She was a faithful servant of God.

Kathryn served her Lord in nearly every way you can imagine from Sunday School Teacher to Short Term Missions. She loved the God who held her in His hand. Her life speaks loudly of her commitment to "walk worthy of the calling". She lay down her cross daily for Him. She loved Lord and His Word. What an inspiration! What an example! I pray that God would allow me to remember the lessons of faith, prayer, family and compassion that she tried so desperately to teach us all.

When Kathryn went home to her Lord on Decemeber 1st, I knew instantly that my life would not be the same.The space she occupied in my life could never be filled with anyone else. It is just one of the marks she left behind. He life was not wasted. She worked as a nurse for over 30 years. but her real work was as a faithful servant of God.

I pray that I never forget Kathryn Claire Stonebraker Thomas and the impact she had on my life.

Bringing You Up To Date

Just in case you have missed something let me give you the run down of the continued happenings with our family since my last post.

Dad was released from the hospital after a few days of monitoring. He did great! Mark's sister Sandy came to help out. She was able to stay with Dad so that Mark and I could return to work. What a tremendous help! Each day after work Mark and I would drive to Clarksville to visit Mom. for many days there was no change or little change. She would improve one day and regress the next. It as such a rollercoaster ride. Many tears were shed as we prayed for her recovery. After nearly 2 weeks in ICU, mom was off the ventilator and moved to a regular room. The prognosis was "there is nothing else we can do for her." We thought the end was near. But Mom had other ideas. As another week and a half ticked by she began to improve. In no time at all she was down to just an oxygen tube on her nose. She continued to have good days and bad but the good were beginning to out number the bad. Mom's memory began to return. Her speech was more audible. And on Wednesday, November 12 Mom was moved to a rehabilitation center in Smyrna! She continued to improve in strength each day. Then on December 3rd, she went home! Dad is caring for her with the assistance of home health care. It seemed unbelievable that just a few weeks earlier we were planning her funeral. God is so good!